back to article Obama: McCain can't email, remembers Rubik's Cubes

Barack Obama has told American voters that John McCain is a poor choice for the highest office in the land because he "doesn't know how to use a computer" and "can't send an email." In a new TV ad, the Democratic presidential nominee warns the country that his Republican opponent is still living in a time when Joanie loved …

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  1. Paul Talbot

    email is useless?

    I've said this before about McCain - while I can understand why a man of his age might not have seen the need to get online for personal use, I find it unacceptable that a man in line for the most important job in his country can't even see the point of email. Email, along with the internet, have absolutely transformed business in his country - read: the US economy - to the point that it's now totally dependent on it. How can he be qualified to make decisions about the failing economy if he can't comprehend a part of it that every 5 year old is familiar with?

    For him to be so dismissive makes me wonder what else he "doesn't see as important". I don't see a perfect candidate in this race, but I'm hoping to God that this fool and his bulldog don't get in...

  2. Hrishikesh
    Thumb Up

    Web2.0rhea?

    You, sir, owe me a new keyboard!

    (El Reg - We *really* need the coffee-sprayed-on-a-keyboard icon!)

  3. Neil Greatorex
    Happy

    Any US President that browses the interweb and sends email

    Would be a liability.........

    Think of all the time wasted reading El Reg, when he should be concentrating on running the country! :-)

  4. JRallo
    Thumb Up

    @Talbot

    Don't forget, she devolved into a pig ;-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Did anyone tell McCain what the web is really useful for?

    Yep, finding nudey pics of Sarah Palin by the hundred, some of them even almost convincing...

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm thoroughly bored with this election now. How many decades has it been going on? Elect someone already!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    He's got people

    He's got people to read/write his email. You don't think he makes his own coffee, does his own typing, or all of those other time consuming, menial tasks himself. Do you? Does any of them? If they are making coffee I don't want them in the office of President. They have more important things to be doing.

  7. Dennis Behrens
    Dead Vulture

    e-mail useless?

    "Then he said email is useless. 'I don't e-mail. I've never felt the particular need to e-mail.'"

    My guess is that he gets confused by all of those Viagra and Cialis spam e-mails, so he's given up on e-mail...

  8. Paul

    Saving on archive costs

    Well at least it would save on the cost of archiving his emails in case of later investigations.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    We're doomed, but what else is new...

    I think they're just hoping we won't notice the next world war spiraling out of our "next Vietnam" we're getting cozily used to, which obviously isn't happening of course, as I am just becoming paranoid due to my bazaar ability to observe the world around me, and take interest in the details of history. But what do I know, I don't have a PHD and therefore cannot comment on anything other than hamburgers, pickup trucks, and coy boys. YEE-HAAA!!! USA!! USA!!

    BTW, to my fellow Americans, redneck =/= neo-con/religious nut bag, no matter what the news media would like to make us all think, some of us are actually (everyone sit down please) educated! Too bad the majority seem educated by the news media, books never really very popular with our kind :P Half of our parents have been burning them since the 60's :P

    Ugh (keep smiling) :-D

  10. James

    Not sending e-mail

    He doesn't say that he doesn't understand it, simply that he feels no need to send e-mail himself. Perfectly understandable: he's had one or more secretaries to deal with that for him for more than two decades! I doubt he feels any need to type, either - not because he doesn't understand the concept, simply because he pays someone else to do it for him.

    I feel no need to go out and perform an oil-change, for that matter...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Email is a fad...no, really!

    Email appears to be nothing but a fad. Oh, it's very popular with the 30-50 year old set...very popular... but I can't get any of my under-25 friends to use email. They sms, they chat, they sign on to fucking World of Wartcraft and sit around chatting... they do just about anything but email. Email is for fogies.

    In all honesty I really don't care. Presidents don't need email and there are very good reasons not to use easily snoopable electronic systems for critical communications. It's not as though I really want a president to be googling for answers or looking things up on wikipedia...or, even worse, editing wikipedia entries all the time.

  12. RW

    It's a mix

    Some good points, some bad.

    I really don't care if McCain doesn't know how to computer or email; the President has secretarial staff for that shit.

    But when it comes to understanding the economy & corporate tax cuts, uh-oh. Personally, I hope Obama gets in and then socks it to the wealthy and the corporate sector. Time to let some wind out of their sails.

    The biggest stroke against McCain is that he's a Republican. Just look what that party has given the world these last 8 years! There's no reason to believe that it won't be more of the same

    The next biggest stroke against McCain is that stupid Palin woman. I wonder if she's ever heard the word "warmonger"? The US has a tradition of electing non-entities as VP because the job is usually a dead end, but given McCain's age, his VP candidate better be someone suited to be president in their own right -- and Palin simply isn't.

    Still, it would be amusing, in a rather terror-stricken way, if McCain got elected and then kicked the bucket and Palin became president. I have a funny idea that she wouldn't take kindly to being told what to do by the presidential handlers' team. "Who's President around here, you or me? Now fuck off!"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Americas broken system

    Its so scary that McCain can be so complacent to remain ignorant of even fundamental global advances like personal computing and the internet, yet the most powerful country in the world might still empower him to make key decisions that directly affect billions of peoples lives.

    Vote for Paris because she is all over the internet.

  14. Neil Cooper
    Paris Hilton

    Americas broken system

    Its so scary that McCain can be so complacent to remain ignorant of even fundamental global advances like personal computing and the internet, yet the most powerful country in the world might still empower him to make key decisions that directly affect billions of peoples lives.

    Vote for Paris because she is all over the internet.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Totally stupid thing to say

    A campaign ad can now quite easily show McCain using a computer to send an email as a backdrop to the main message.

    If they used Mutt as the client, with a veritcal split screen showing a Postfix config file open on the other split, that would be hilarious. All they would need to do is focus for a moment on the mail sent notifcation to make the point.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So it's not moderated ...?

    Its so scary that McCain can be so complacent to remain ignorant of even fundamental global advances like personal computing and the internet, yet the most powerful country in the world might still empower him to make key decisions that directly affect billions of peoples lives.

    Vote for Paris because she is all over the internet.

  17. Alastair

    Yes and no

    Yeah, McCain is out of touch. I don't think they need an ad to prove it, and to be honest they're running the risk of alienating a lot of older voters who also, shock horror, don't get the net.

    An odd decision to make that ad, IMO.

  18. Franklin
    IT Angle

    @ Talbot

    I strongly doubt the economy of any country on Urth is "totally dependant on [e-mail]". It might be useful for some high Knob to send a funny picture of a cat licking its penis to the "administrative assistant" pool, but in the real world there are telephones, letters, and actually conversing in person.

  19. Dave Rickmers
    Linux

    Lacks Intellectual Curiosity

    Just like Prez. Dubbya. Can you imagine Eisenhower not watching TV?

    Linux 'cause it's free.

  20. Paul M.
    Thumb Up

    A President must find his own Chuck Norris jokes, dammit

    @Neil Cooper

    "Its so scary that McCain can be so complacent to remain ignorant of even fundamental global advances like personal computing "

    Yeah, that's real scary! That's the same arrogant presumption that sinks Obama's smug little video.

    AC "He's got people" said it. Maybe he's not ignorant of personal computing at all, he just evaluates his time wisely. Maybe McCain has decided that his time is better spent by getting an intern to print out and read all those Chuck Norris jokes to him?

    That allows him to multitask. And it sounds like you need to get a life.

    (Not a McCain fan - just plain common sense)

  21. Michael Chester
    Paris Hilton

    @franklin

    Telephones/talking in person require the person to be instantly available. Letters take time to get through the post. E-mail has the advantage of being cheap, quick (generally will be read at least same day, whereas a letter will take 2 days to arrive) and proof-readable (unlike for example a voicemail message).

    Paris, because she is also cheap, quick and ermmm..... nope, that one doesn't work....

  22. James Butler

    Web2.0rhea

    Hmmm ... if you mean that the Obama campaign has seen the future and is using its tools to communicate with the young people of today, then I guess you're right. But I would have thought that was to be commended, rather than mocked. Metz must be wearing the same lipstick-colored glasses as the Repugnicans if he can't see that.

    The major pollsters are just as ludditified* as McCain ... they haven't yet figured out that in order to get relatively accurate poll numbers they need to use the communication tools in use by the voters. Obama's base skews young, yet polls are still taken by dialing people's land lines and asking questions of whoever answers the phone. Until they start calling cell phones, which they are forbidden to do by law, and using Web2.0rhea pipelines, then the polls they produce will be inaccurate, and we'll be looking at a big November Surprise. Who says McCain has narrowed the gap, or is even leading? Oh yeah, right ... the stay-at-homes with land lines. Fair and balanced, to be sure.

    *Hey, if you can coin "Web2.0rhea" then I can coin "ludditified".

  23. Joseph Mamae
    Dead Vulture

    research?

    From the Boston Globe-

    McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.

    http://graphics.boston.com/news/politics/campaign2000/news/McCain_character_loyal_to_a_fault+.shtml

    So yes, let's all laugh at the cripple for not surfing for porn....or being able to toss one off.....a baseball, of course.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @RW

    Thats nice sock it to the companies and corparate. The same companies that are moving overseas and opening up shops for cheaper labor and force more companies to move call centers to India... great idea only a Democrat can come up with it

    Only thing Obama will do with his tax plan is to speed up the recession to the point it spirals out of control. And his plans for Iraq will only lead to a bigger problem later on when we got Desert Storm Pt 3 after some nutter that makes Sadam look like a charity worker takes over.

    Personally if Obama wins I wish some other country maybe Canada or Mexico comes invades destroys this sham of a government and helps rebuild it.

    I'm not a republican but in my eyes Mc Cain is the lesser of 2 evils.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Come on, is the reg becoming the NY Times?

    Come on now... I thought the UK didn't care about US politics. Get a grip.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    though not tech savvy but he sure supports riaa

    that's why riaa's winning but of people who don't understand technology... anyway mccains has been brib'd by riaa for contributions and votes.

  27. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Re: E-Mail is a fad.

    "Email appears to be nothing but a fad. Oh, it's very popular with the 30-50 year old set...very popular.... but I can't get any of my under-25 friends to use email. They sms, they chat, they sign on to fucking World of Wartcraft and sit around chatting... they do just about anything but email. Email is for fogies."

    Hey, I saw someone under 25 using e-mail just a few days ago. I mean, admittedly, they were using it to send and receive texts to/from my phone (to save on texting fees) but other than that..umm...hmm... well, point taken 8-).

    I've got to admit, I don't use E-Mail too much. I've sent/received over 100 texts so far this month, and as for my e-mail: 1) SPAM! (Like 500 a day or something similary ridiculous). Good thing I have a GOOD Bayesian spam filter. 2) securityfocus and a few related mailing lists. 3) "Your bill is due!" (even though I'm on autopay). 4) My sister sends out the odd E-Mail to a fat list of addresses, mainly to accomodate older relatives who aren't into texting.

  28. Naadir Jeewa
    Heart

    A question

    So, is Obama a crackberry addict?

  29. Terry Stetler

    McCain's computer skills

    Everyone please note that it has been fairly common knowledge in the US that McCain does not use a computer because his war injuries to his shoulders make it extremely difficult to use a keyboard or mouse. When you see him standing with one hand holding the other or otherwise not moving them about those too are because doing otherwise is painful.

    Obama taking this line opens him to a blistering counterattack.

  30. Solomon Grundy

    What is the Advantage?

    What difference does it make if the old fucker doesn't use email? It doesn't really help anyone - in fact studies show that email only increases stress and reduces the amount of actual work/problem solving that people get done. Many years ago people already knew that email didn't really improve efficiency - email is fun, but it doesn't really help anything. Only young people believe in the power of email.

    So don't give the old bastard too much of a hard time for not using email. He'll be dead in a year or two anyway so it won't matter.

  31. Martin Usher
    Paris Hilton

    Its not the technology....

    ...its the idea of a person who doesn't really keep up on things. This makes him vulnerable to influence, like a puppet.

    We're seeing the same thing with Palin. She's sharp but has to be intensively worked by the 'communications staff' to get her to the point where she sounds even half credible. What we end up with is someone who proposes exactly the same policies as Bush -- the same people are preparing the position papers and supplying the information so we end up with the same results.

    You need to keep your eyes and ears open. By all means rely on others but always have a way of fact checking -- doing QA on what you're told.

    Paris --- because underneath that fake porn star exterior is someone who really is very sharp. (Maybe Paris should be VP?)

  32. Stewart Haywood
    Joke

    "Things have changed in the last 26 years. But McCain hasn't."

    That's right, he hasn't changed God or preacher in 26 years.

  33. cirby

    Um....

    The reason McCain doesn't physically use email is that he was horrifically tortured by the Vietnamese back in the 1970s, and can't use the keyboard without pain. He gets his wife or an assistant to operate the computer while he reads and responds. You know, much like most modern CEOs.

    The Obama campaign, while able to use email, can't manage to do a Google search to find this out ( the story is old enough that it turns up in a lot of places). Or they did, and planned to use a person's disability for political gain. An you fell for it.

  34. Jesse Dorland
    Linux

    McCain vs Mongrel

    Let's be honest here. Most White American will not be voting for a Obama aka Michael Jackson version 2.2. Obama claims to be a pure Black. He also denies that he is a Muslim even though his father is a Muslim, and he was raised and education in a Islamic school.

    I can't see him becoming a leader in America. My family lives in northern part of America, and as far as I know everyone down there is anti-Bush right now, and non of them like Republican party. Nevertheless, they are not willing to vote for a person because they don't believe a mix race man can run this country or even his own life for that matter.

    Linux because it doen't believe in race.

  35. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The advantage of a president browsing the net ...

    ... is the he is not damaging the economy or blowing people up. The down side is that someone else will do that for him.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hilarious

    There are few things as funny as liberals picking on a crippled man, especially one who sustained his condition while being tortured.

    From Forbes in 2000:

    http://www.forbes.com/asap/2000/0529/053_print.html

    In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits.

    (Paris, because her energy plan is very much like McCain's.)

  37. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    Lacking Anything? Just Share what you Want on the Internet and IT will dDeliver? :-)

    "In July, McCain told The Times he's badgering himself to at least master the art of reading a web page. "I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself," he said. "I don't expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need.""

    Hell, John Boy, the Internet Thing is Lead Governance ... where have you been all these years ..... Confined in Closed Quarters under Sealed Orders?

    "Email appears to be nothing but a fad. Oh, it's very popular with the 30-50 year old set...very popular... but I can't get any of my under-25 friends to use email. They sms, they chat, they sign on to fucking World of Wartcraft and sit around chatting... they do just about anything but email. Email is for fogies." ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 12th September 2008 20:40 GMT

    I agree, AC, and on the Register is Email dDelivered to Everyone For Free Cloaked as Comments on Relative Relevant Matters of and in AI Fields of Mutual ConCERN. :-)

    Congratulations LHC ATLAS Project. Colossus Salutes the Binary Flow.

    amfM Quantum BetaTesting for Semantic Singularity Source Streams ....XXXXStreaming Specific and Peculiar QuixotiQ Particulars for AutonoMICQ TelePort Drive.

    Some for Gordon to stuff in his pipe and smoke. If he closes his eyes and ZerodDaydreams a little, he will See Beta/Better. The Challenge is always Virtually Intellectual and never in the Thuggishly Physical.

    The Obvious Awkward Question is always who is Providing Players with their IntelAIgents or do they Suffer from Lacking Intellectual Curiosity too, although that is a Blanket Charge which Very Few could Escape and Ignore or Deny?

  38. Dave

    Obama Can't Google...

    Fine job of ignorance folks! McCain can't use a keyboard or comb his hair due to injuries sustained when tortured by the North Vietnamese. As for how important it is to send an e-mail by a president Clinton sent only two during his eight years in office. Obama is a poor excuse for a candidate. Less than 150 days of experience in the Senate and he is already the number three recipient of donations from the failing Fannie Mae. His personal attacks and his inexplicable desire to run against Palin only shows how stupid he is.

  39. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    @ Franklin / Not dependent on e-mail...

    Then try monitoring the reaction of an entire company when e-mail is unavailable and they can no longer send tender documents, manuals, site plans, projects notes, photographs, expense forms or anything else by e-mail. Even for a few hours.

    So no, while not *dependent* on e-mail, as 'phone, fax and letters can be used, many businesses are still enormously reliant on it. Not understanding or appreciating this is a serious problem.

  40. Pete "oranges" B.
    Linux

    The irony! It's killing me! (Not really. It's just the chemtrails)

    " flashing images of[:]

    a dumbbell-sized mobile phone"

    Clones of similar designs are still manufactured to this day. Unlike their ultra-miniturized, "modern" counterparts, they have retained their casing size in order to actually take advantage of advancements in battery technology, giving users useful real-world talk and standby times. They aren't terribly popular because they're not cool or hip or bitchin or whatever the hell it is now, and they can't be rammed into the hip pockets of tight jeans.

    "a vinyl record player"

    OK, I'm not going to open up this debate, let's just leave it at "At least I can make copies with it in whatever manner I choose"

    "a monochrome monitor"

    I would place good money on the idea that 65-70% of devices that use color panels would actually function better with monochrome ones. Yeah that's right, your SMS messages read just the same whether they're black-on-white or gray-on-green. Also see the products marketed under the e-Ink brand.

    "Rubik's cube"

    Last time I checked the stickers are still fun to peel off and stick back on.

    Someone with a proper command of any of those older technological paradigms can still outclass most modern end users in exacting functionality from their equipment.

    I'm no McCain fan, but this just further confirms my opinion that "Obama" is merely a brand sold to a target (apparently Web 2.0 using) audience. Whoever controls that brand may soon control the nation.

    What do you call 1000 politicians at the bottom of the ocean...

  41. Mike

    it's a lie

    he is just saying this so when all those embarrassing emails get leaked he can claim they must be fake because everyone knows he doesn't email

  42. Nick Palmer
    Stop

    @cirby & AC "Hilarious" & all the other torture whingers above

    Dragon Naturally Speaking, muppets? The idea that you need to use a keyboard to send an email is woefully inaccurate; there are a lot of packages out there that assist people with specific disabilities to use computers.

    And Martin Usher is right; it's not whether he handles email or other forms of electronic communication, it's that he appears to be completely oblivious to their importance (and they are VERY important). Nick Ryan's also right - I've seen exactly the same in the construction sector, and that's quite a conservative industry; and that's before you get onto things like tenders that have to be submitted via a secure website and stuff like that. Not "getting" electronic communication is a serious flaw.

  43. Sceptical Bastard

    @ NYT

    Quote: "...thought the UK didn't care about US politics"

    Yeah? Like we didn't care that Blair's arselicking support for Dubya led us into two semi-legal foreign wars in which hundreds of our young men have been killed for virtually no gain?

    Yeah? Like we don't care that the 'Murcann sub-prime mortgage fiasco has pushed the world to the brink of recession and sent at least one of our banks crashing down at vast expense to the UK taxpayer?

    Yeah? Like we don't care that the Bush administration has found politically expedient for the USA to insist on Brits being extradited to the USA on the flimsiest of accusations while if we want a USA citizen deported to the UK, the 'Murcanns smile and politely tell us to fuck off?

    And half a hundred other examples...

    Of course we care about US policy - it affects almost every aspect of our daily lives.

    As to McCain, email and the internet, the remarks attributed to him smack more of bad PR than anything else. But I bet his 'pig-in-lipstick' running mate knows about the web - her puffy little face, too-tight clothes, and three inches of fat cleavage are calculated wank-fantasy for millions of saddo rightwingers.

  44. Steen Hive
    Stop

    @Hilarious

    "There are few things as funny as liberals picking on a crippled man, especially one who sustained his condition while being tortured."

    ISTR He was tortured after being captured bombing farmers half way round the World in the Second Indochina War. Tough titty, John-boy. Now if the Vietcong had kidnapped him in Colorado and tortured him in Taiwan.....

  45. Mick
    Stop

    really you we let these people have the vote?

    Nevertheless, they are not willing to vote for a person because they don't believe a mix race man can run this country or even his own life for that matter.

    about sums up the American populace imo...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Nick Ryan & Franklin / Not dependent on e-mail...

    Nick, you took the words out of my.. erm, fingers I suppose...

    The company I work with lost email access for 6 hours earlier this year - major City financial institution - and the first thing everyone said when they called the helpdesk was "I cant work". Yes, there are alternatives, but email is now the standard form of communication for a very large sector of the economy.

    Time = Money | Emails = Speed

  47. John

    Looks like the Democrats are going dirty

    Good it's about time. In the past they've lost elections due to playing by some sort of false moral rules.

    I agree, I think his age is a BIG factor. McCain goes on about Obama's inexperience but what's the point of experience if it's all out of date.

    Obama's campaign shows his ability to use and understand new technology and in a world where the US is dropping further and further behind due to less focus on technology and engineering this can only be a good thing.

    While America doesn't lead the world in these areas, the wealth of it's wealthy individuals will continue to be moved out of the American economy in investment to the companies/departments in countries that are leading the way. Think what happened to the car industry and how it moved to Japan and apply it across the board.

    There's only so long a company can survive if it stops creating the things that generate the wealth in the first place.

  48. John Dooley

    Fascist Puppets Do as commanded

    Totally irrelevant. Both candidates are big business flunkies, trying thier best to pass themselves off as genuine FOLKS. What a load. Just in case you were not paying attention, A Lincoln destroyed this country long ago.

  49. Jonathan Tate
    Thumb Down

    Email?

    I hate it. For one-on-one communication, what can you do with email that you can't do with a cell phone and voice mail?

    Email became popular in a world that only had pagers and 56k modems.

  50. janet ward
    Paris Hilton

    And in the real world....

    "The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. . . . McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes."

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OTliMTNiZjg5ZDEwZWNiZDYwZWFjN2JlNjNjNjkxZmM=

    And how about this:

    "In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits. "

    http://www.forbes.com/asap/2000/0529/053_print.html

    Trouble with lefties, they are allergic to facts.

    Paris, because she has more sense than lefties and liberals.

  51. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Jack, I'd love to come. But, what's happened, you see, is the string in my leg's gone.

    "There are few things as funny as liberals picking on a crippled man, especially one who sustained his condition while being tortured."

    Finally! A phrase so tiresome that I can sleep soundly this afternoon.

  52. Jimmy

    A letter from America.

    Hi guys

    Senator McCain is a fine American and a war hero to boot, so please don't denigrate his character simply because he doesn't know how to send an email. C'mon,guys, everyone knows that this is really, really complicated stuff for a politician. I can attest to this based on the ten years I spent as Prime Minister of a small European country.

    During this time I was much too busy waging illegal war on the bad guys to have time to master complicated technologies like emailing and databases. Politicians have consultants, advisers and flunkies to do the boring stuff, y'know.

    And, yeah, before you start in about all those thousands of dead Iraqui civilians, just let me remind you, someone has to do God's work for him here on earth. It's tough at the top, y'know?

    Cheers

    Tone

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @ Sceptical Bastard

    "the 'Murcanns smile and politely tell us to fuck off?

    I'm afraid you've made a mistake. "'Murcanns" don't know how or care to be polite when telling you to fuck off.

    You must have been dealing with a Canadian. We always try to be polite.

  54. Greg
    Dead Vulture

    So next Obama will lambaste McCain for not knowing all the good porn sites.

    What a waste of a commercial! Whoever authorized this one, ought to be fired. If I was a big democrat campaign contributor, I would stop now. First, who would this play more favorably to? Likely, the younger the better. Partly, because computer literacy does run with age, but more importantly only some youth would think this is even important. Now, which age group does he already own? The youth. So now, what am I getting for my money? Its also more likely to negatively affect his standing with older folk that he is already losing at a greater and greater rate. So I ask again, who authorized this commercial?....Oh, Obama authorized it. Well, chalk another one up to our European hero!

  55. Don Montgomery
    Alert

    corrections to some inaccuracies

    Here http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OTliMTNiZjg5ZDEwZWNiZDYwZWFjN2JlNjNjNjkxZmM= is some info on McCain's typing, and here http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13text-mccain.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin&oref=slogin is the recent NY Times article, which sounds as though McCain is pretty well versed on online political group building and commentary.

    Don

  56. Ben
    Pirate

    Bait, bait, bait...

    Interesting to see that at least some Republicans have mastered the modern world - shame they've turned up on El Reg though.They're obviously struggling to read McCain's words, so let's revisit them:

    "I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself," he said. "I don't expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need.".

    He's not learning to get online by learning how to flex his shoulders, numbnuts, he's struggling to learn how to double click on an icon. Besides, over here in Blighty, Stephen Hawking is happily using his Tomy Speak'n'spell to write best-selling books - so don't tell me that a dodgy shoulder is all that's stopping McCain.

    Whilst we're at it, remind me how this "war hero" got his injuries again? Actually, don't - I know this one. It was crashing his plane for the 5th time whilst trying to bomb peasants in a third world country (typically he survived - the moron couldn't even master the basics of kamikaze). McCain is actually responsible for destroying more US aircraft than most Viet Cong generals. There's also archive footage of him giving a Viet Cong interviewer far more than unit, name and number: just the sort of courage under pressure that a president needs (just like Bush, who bravely hunted the Viet Vong in, er, Texas). He's not a "war hero" - he's a very silly boy who was only allowed to play with expensive airplanes because Daddy asked nicely.

    Finally, if you think that his dodgy shoulder stops him using a keyboard safely, why the hell would you want to give him the nuclear button?

  57. Terry Stetler

    Obama's skewed polling

    "Obama's base skews young, yet polls are still taken by dialing people's land lines and asking questions of whoever answers the phone."

    That would explain things if Obama over-polled - meaning that his actual vote were higher than predicted by the polls.

    Problem is that in all the late primaries Obama UNDER-polled, meaning his actual vote was lower than predicted by the polls.

    This is due to two factors;

    1. most polls over-sample Democrats vs. their actual support in the populace

    2. the "Bradley Effect" - so named after Tom Bradley, an African-American 1982 candidate for mayor of Los Angeles. Bradley lead the polls consistently and by significant margins only to lose the election by several points.

    The reason was that when confronted by a live pollster, in person or on the phone, white voters were found to choose the black candidate so as not to appear racist.

    This didn't mean they were racist, just that they had been cowed by the PC'ers into thinking that if they chose a white over a black they would appear to be racist.

  58. M
    Black Helicopters

    OK

    Read my lips, no new Republicans.

  59. Shannon Jacobs
    Linux

    Lincoln's own coffee?

    Gee, I'm not even sure they had coffee in those old days... Not McCain's old days, but Abe Lincoln's old days. I was reminded of a famous joke by the comment about McCain not making his own coffee... As I recall the joke:

    The Secretary of War was supposed to have walked into Lincoln's office and found him polishing his boots.

    "Mr President! Why are you polishing your boots?"

    "Whose boots should I be polishing?"

    It's not like it would be a mortal sin if McCain actually did make his own coffee. Maybe he could use the leisure while it's perking to think more carefully on such trivia as who should become president if something happened to him.

    With regards to McCain's tactical use of Palin to avoid all the issues, it does seem to be working. America is *SO* fscked. McCain's *ONLY* presidential decision, and God help us--and the voters are taking it with a straight face, just like Quayle.

    (With regards to the comment attacking Abe, I'd wager that was from a secret McCainian. What Lincoln actually destroyed was the true rationale of the Second Amendment.)

    America is *SO* screwed up.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back Ending

    Has anyone else noticed that the last part of the ad that flashes up almost scans as

    Obama Binladen, instead of Obama Biden.

    I'd call that an own goal.

  61. Craig

    Oh come on

    First, there are indeed lots of ways for people with disabilities to use the internet. I myself am cmpletely blind and my computer uses synthetic speech. As previously mentioned there is voice recognition (amazing how many people reposted the same thing about the injury even after this was mentioned) and on screen keyboards. Also tablet PCs with hand writing recognition.

    Secondly, text is far more convenient than voice when you need speed. Quicker to send, easier to edit, and easier to skim through. Also don't kid yourself that government people would use standard set ups to send/receive email, they probably use at least uncommon protocols designed for high security. A list of emails with subjects is far easier to prioritise than voice messages, since (if you're not blind) you can just glance at the sender and subject to see what it is about as well as any possible priority level system in place.

    Once upon a time it would mean calling your secretary to see if anyone had left any messages. However the nature of the world is changing rapidly, and like with television and radio you can either embrace it or hide from it. Of course radio and TV was less of a leap because all policicians love the sound of their own voice, and are used to speaking in front of an audience.

    As to email being a fad, there is a huge difference between professional communications and social communications. Im and to some extent SMS are more used for social situations, email is just not currently beatable for business communications. It's the new fax, and how many individuals owned fax machines as compared to businesses? It of course also depends on how much the business depends on communications, more likely with business to business focused companies than shops selling to consumers.

  62. Secretgeek
    Joke

    Makes me chuckle.

    Just how similar these election ads are getting to GTA IV's version. How long will it be before Obama calls McCain a kiddie-fiddling paedo and McCain responds by claiming that Obama secretly worships Allah and is planning on turning the good 'ol USA into the Islamic Republic of America?

    :-)

    It's a joke, surely?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    What a pair!

    One is full of 'touchy - feely' crap, until the going gets rough, then he turns into a nasty little creep.

    The other has hooked up with the most deeply disturbing running mate I could imagine.

    And from that pair, the unfortunate citizens of the USA are expected to make a choice?

    It's as bad as this country.

    The democratic process is supposed to let the cream float to the top. The problem is, it seems shit floats too...

  64. David Kesterson
    Happy

    McCain and Internet

    As reported in the Boston Globe in 2000 by Jacob Weisberg: "McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball."

    What hasn't been reported is Obama's carpal tunnel syndrome, arising from his unceasing production of memoirs.

  65. William Roddy

    McCain

    Sen. McCain's war injuries make it difficult and painful to lift his arms and sustain that position of working on any keyboard.

    Additionally, it has been said any number of times that the least effective way to reach a member of government is to write them an email. They prefer snail mail that is not anonymous, so they can use it as evidence for support or denial of an issue. Letters delivered by post are strong currency in Washington.

    Finally, members of congress seldom read their own email, nor do they respond to it. that is a staff job.

    Summary: consider McCain's medical reasons for not using email. And writing emails to Washington is not an effective way to communicating with your representative, particularly anonymously, since those are the first that are deleted. It would be far better to call your senate or congressional district regional office, to make your voice heard.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interwhat?

    Darth McCain's other war injuries.

    He's shell shocked from eating too many peanuts.

    Before you get all defensive, I was there in 1961-1963, mostly trying to kill off Soviet and Chinese military advisors in Laos!

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Presidential Email

    Just FYI: Bill Clinton sent, personally, a total of 2 emails as President. One of those was an email system test. They really do have staff for things like that, which helps to avoid permanent records of typographical errors and such.

    Also, McCain has raised much more web-related money than Obama in the last several months. If he doesn't understand the web, he has people working for him who do.

    Still don't like him as a candidate, but Obama would, IMHO, be far worse. Voting lesser evil this year (again).

  68. ratfox

    Not so surprising

    I do hope that as a president, he'll have people who send e-mail and surf the web for him. If that guy has to go look for information himself, where is the world going to?

    The potential vice-president, on the other hand, has shown that she understands about e-mail. At least enough to discuss key subjects with her assistants using her personal account, because it is not subject to disclosure like the official one...

  69. James Gibbons
    Joke

    Obama says:

    Can't use a keyboard because of war injuries?

    Then he won't be able to punch the codes into the nuclear football to send off the bombs!

    Another reason to elect an expert like myself. Lets go a hunting Osama Bin Ladin in Pakistan!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Why look yourself?

    Ratfox - there's a very simple reason that any politician should go and find information for themselves: it helps prevent their advisers - who you think should be doing the Googling - from pushing a one-eyed, selfish agenda based on whoever is paying their backhanders. To argue otherwise is to argue that a Presidential candidate should be ignorant of the wider world and rely entirely upon third parties for their ideas.

    Bearing in mind the mess that is Iraq and the world's most famous demolition site (formerly known as New York), would you argue that this strategy has been entirely successful over the last 8 years?

  71. Thomas Binney

    Quit with the War Hero shit

    Bombing peasants from your state of the art multi-million dollar airplane in a third world country that never did dick to your own does NOT make you a hero, it makes you an asshole. Getting said airplane knocked out of the sky does not make you a hero, it makes you an unlucky asshole. Getting your arms badly broken when you land does not make you a hero it makes you a really unlucky asshole. Having the friends, family and countrymen of the peasants you've been bombing capture and torture you does not make you a hero, it makes you a really unlucky asshole who got what he had coming to him. Not being killed outright by those people even though you've been killing them does not make you a hero, it makes you a really unlucky asshole who got what he had coming to him and still got off easy.

    JM is not a hero. JM is a really unlucky asshole who got what he had coming to him and still got off easy.

    Sitting in elected office for 26 years while your nation stagnates and becomes despised by the rest of the world does not make you a hero...

  72. Codge
    Linux

    @ Thomas Binney

    Stunningly truthful assessment there matey!

    Tux, cuz he doesn't crash on me...

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